Redland City Council has engaged an external consultant to complete an independent review of fire risk for Redlands Coast including our islands.
Redland City Mayor and Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group Karen Williams said consultants Ten Rivers, who undertook the Russell Island Fire Review, had been engaged to complete a detailed fire strategy review for Council land across the remainder of the city.
“Council has undertaken significant fire risk mapping and planning on the Southern Moreton Bay Islands as part of the Russell Island Fire Review, and is now broadening its focus to key mainland bushland areas,” Cr Williams said.
“The review will consider a host of issues, from public awareness and education to critical asset management and mapping of ‘hot spot’ areas to allow us to focus our fire management resources where there is the greatest need.”
The management guidelines for the ‘Asset Protection Zones’ on the islands says the objective of the APZ is to protect human life and property via the provision of a maintained, low hazard (i.e. low fuel) defendable space immediately surrounding an infrastructure asset.
It would mean these APZ areas would be required to be regularly maintained to a ‘low’ rating.
To achieve these objectives, work required would include raking or manual removal of fine fuels such as leaves and twigs, mowing or slashing grasses to a short length, pruning small trees and shrubs, especially around mature trees, separating ‘crowns’ of mature trees, and hazard reduction burning.
Cr Williams said Council’s fire management programs were year round, with winter months switching the focus to completing future planning and undertaking controlled burns.
“Cooler months provide better weather for undertaking controlled burns, so while waiting for the review findings, Council will continue its ongoing fire management programs to take advantage of conditions,” she said.
“In addition to the upcoming review, Council officers have also provided an initial assessment of the community’s mainland fire risk to develop our controlled burns program for the remainder of 2019.
“Priority parks and reserves under Council’s control were identified through assessments, including physical site inspections or ‘ground truthing’, to visually assess fuel loads, and include areas in Redland Bay, Mount Cotton, Birkdale, Alexandra Hills, Cleveland and Sheldon.
“Burns are planned to take place across the mainland and bay islands in 2019, weather and QFES approval permitting.
“Autumn and winter are also ideal times for private landowners to assess their property’s bushfire risks and take actions to reduce them.”